Florida sheriff’s deputies forced their way into a woman’s home on her 70th birthday, the day after Christmas, tasering and arresting her after she demanded to see a search warrant.
The Manatee County sheriff’s deputies had an arrest warrant for her grandson whom they believed lived there but Barbara Pinkney told them he did not. Nevertheless, the deputies were insistent about entering her home.
An arrest warrant allows cops to enter a home if they have a reasonable suspicion the person they are looking for lives there but they are not allowed to search the home. However, it does not appear the deputies did their due diligence to ensure her grandson lives there.
One deputy claimed she pushed him in the chest which is why he had to taser her, then strike her twice with the taser gun before tackling her, according to his sworn statement in the affidavit. He claimed she was so uncontrollable that he had to plant a knee on her back and strike her again with the taser until another deputy came in to assist.
But a video recorded by her daughter-in-law shows the deputy was holding onto her left wrist as she tried to pull away from him. Her right hand is on the doorknob. It is obvious she is trying to pull away to get back in her house and close the door.
At one point, she breaks free from his grasp which was when he tasered her. He did so because she was about to shut the door in his face which is her right.
The deputies charged her with battery on a law enforcement officer which is a serious felony and used to manipulate jurors into sympathizing with the cops over the actual victims. She was also charged with obstruction which is a common contempt-of-cop charge used on people who refuse to follow unlawful orders.
The deputies never did find her grandson, Tevin Turner, whom deputies say is wanted for a probation violation for carrying a concealed weapon. Turner apparently listed his grandmother’s address as his place of residence at some point during his probation.
According to NBC News:
The affidavit says the officer fired after she pushed him in the chest. He struck her once with the stun gun in the left arm with no effect, then again in the back.
The officer then “took her to the ground,” the document says, adding that she continued to resist placing her hands behind her back.
The officer struck her again with the stun gun, this time in the upper back. The weapon again had no effect, so he “secured” her with his knee until another officer could handcuff her.
Authorities searched the home and didn’t find Turner, although the affidavit suggests that he could have escaped out the back during the “chaos” at the front door.
The chaos, of course, was created by them – all of them gathering around the front door to bully a grandmother rather than secure the back door in the case their suspect tried to escape.
But it does not appear as if her grandson was even aware of her arrest when he wished her a happy birthday on Facebook at 9:07 a.m. Thursday – about 90 minutes after deputies forced their way into her home and took her to jail.
Pinkney, in fact, was looking forward to celebrating her birthday with her family later that day, according to a Facebook event organizing a show of support for her on Tuesday where supporters will march around the neighborhood holding signs, demanding accountability.